Midnight Riot

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Midnight Riot

Midnight Riot by Ben Aaronovitch is the intriguing introduction to Probationary Constable Peter Grant who discovers that there are other more fascinating positions than paper pusher once he finishes his stint on probation and becomes a full-fledged Constable. Unfortunately, he doesn't get his coveted position as a detective but the ghost informant that he suddenly acquires keeps him from being relegated to the dreaded Case Progression Unit which would have entailed him filling out reports for others. His fellow probationer, Leslie May, not only refuses to acknowledge or reciprocate his attraction, but she lands the unprecedented role of uniformed constable in plainclothes with the Murder Team. Peter's uncanny informant allows him to acquire the mentorship of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale who not only begins to expose him to training needed to become a wizard but introduces him to a multitude of fantastical characters such as goddess of the river Mama Thames who is engaged in a turf war against Father Thames, with all of their attendant tributaries personified and having individualistic characteristics. A string of horrific murders lead Peter along a police investigation that follows an escalating and tension-filled path until he and those around him may lose their very lives if he doesn't master his powers as well as solve the mystery about the perpetrator through methodical police work.

A fascinating and intriguing story that masterfully blends a glimpse of British police work with an imaginative combination of characters that range from trolls to gods and goddesses with a sprinkling of vampires. Typical understated humor characterizes Peter's worldview and an entertaining combination of science and magic keeps the reader's attention riveted while Peter unravels the mystery behind the violence that is being perpetrated on a seemingly unrelated selection of humanity. An inventive explanation for the conflict between use of wizardly powers and the presence of technology that also characterizes the effects of another well-known American wizard who already has honed his powers. Peter may give him a run for his money if he lives long enough to become trained. Looking forward to the next in the series.

Book Blurb for Midnight Riot

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost. Peter’s ability to speak with the lingering dead brings him to the attention of Detective Chief Inspector Thomas Nightingale, who investigates crimes involving magic and other manifestations of the uncanny. Now, as a wave of brutal and bizarre murders engulfs the city, Peter is plunged into a world where gods and goddesses mingle with mortals and a long-dead evil is making a comeback on a rising tide of magic.

Night Owl Reviews Mar, 2011 4.50